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March 4, 2015

Larryn Brooks

Tyra Buss

Amanda Cahill

Teri Moren


Indiana – 68
Penn State - 63

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Indiana head coach Teri Moren and student‑athletes Larryn Brooks, Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill.  Opening comment from Coach.
COACH MOREN:  We're just real excited about the fact that we'll be playing tomorrow.  As I said to our gang, just really happy for them and the way they responded this afternoon.
I thought Penn State, when they started to make runs at us, we responded.  In the past, at times, not always, but in the past there have been moments where we've hit the panic button and haven't responded in the way that we needed to to win a basketball game.
And I thought that our kids just did a tremendous job of just showing some toughness, especially down the stretch.  These three kids, I thought, played tremendous‑‑ I thought Larryn had tremendous leadership.
Cahill was just great all afternoon.  And then Tyra does what Tyra does, and that's keeps the defense honest.  Happy collective for our group.  But it took all of us and more than anything I'm just really pleased with the way we played this afternoon.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Tyra, Amanda, you guys are freshman playing in your first Big Ten tournament, you both had big games tonight what was it like coming out on the stage and having that kind of performance?
TYRA BUSS:   We came out and we told each other we weren't going to be nervous playing out there.  And I thought we came out with a lot of confidence, and we got a good start, and I just think we kept‑‑ we did good with our game plan and I thought we played very well tonight.
AMANDA CAHILL:  Definitely.  I thought it was a really good opportunity and experience.  And it was just really fun to get out there with my teammates and give it our all.  And we're happy to keep playing.

Q.  Amanda, can you talk about trying to stop the post, especially Candice Agee, and did you make adjustments at halftime doubling down on her or anything like that?
AMANDA CAHILL:  That was our game plan, we were giving up some size.  We just wanted to really crowd the post.  The zone helped a lot and my teammates were great on digging in and we just tried to move our feet and get them out of the paint.

Q.  Larryn, yesterday you told me that you were looking for this team, you knew last year in the Big Ten tournament to play each game like it's your last, did you see that tonight?
LARRYN BROOKS:  Definitely did see that tonight.  Definitely did see that tonight.  That was the main thing going in.  We just wanted to play every game like it was our last.  Like Tyra said, everybody gave it their all.  We laid everything on the floor tonight, and that's all we could ask for.

Q.  Any of you can answer this.  How important was it to hit shots early?  I think you guys were shooting over 50percent in the first half.  How important was that for your confidence?
AMANDA CAHILL:  Well, the past couple days in practice we've been shooting with the ball we were going to be using today.  I think that was nice.  It's a little bit different than our usual game ball.
And I think we've just been getting in the gym lately and getting shots up.  So that was there to prepare us for today.

Q.  For any of you, how was the atmosphere tonight?
TYRA BUSS:   It was a great atmosphere.  I appreciate all of our fans that came out, the IU fans.  They were great supporting us and it means a lot for them to make their way down to Chicago to watch us play.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach.

Q.  Same question as before, the team has pulled out close games throughout the season.  What do you think made the difference tonight?
COACH MOREN:  Cahill hit it on the head.  It was the ball.  I just think that, as Larryn alluded to, I think one of the things we shared with them today at film was that it's been 2009 was the last time that an Indiana team had won the first game of championship, of a tournament play.
And as we challenged them, you know, what better motivation than just that?  We've been in a lot of tight games this year.
We just came off a brutal road trip out east, as you guys know, our beat writers, last four out of five have been on the road.  And I was just happy.  I thought our toughness, we talk about toughness.  It's kind of a buzzword that everybody throws out.  But I think we had to have that.
We got in late on Monday night.  We had really one day of prep.  I thought the kids were focused on what we were trying to do, and that was keep Agee at bay as well as we could, knowing we were going to give up some height.
So just give our kids credit.  I just think they played with some resilience tonight.  Toughness, I thought Larryn, again‑‑ they just didn't want to be denied.  And just really proud of the way that all of them, not just the three of these guys, but all of them responded.

Q.  You guys had the tournament in your home state last year.  How does the atmosphere compare in Chicago to in Indiana?
COACH MOREN:  Unfortunately, I can't really speak to that.  I'm a new coach.  But, again, like Tyra said, our fans have been tremendous throughout the entire season.  And they've been cheering hard for a team that might not have gotten the results throughout the season like we wanted to, and that's wins.
But we feel like we've made incremental progress throughout.  And there's been some nights where we haven't shown up the way we want to and then there's been like this last road trip with Maryland and Rutgers, where we showed up and made it interesting for both teams.
And so credit our fans, again just with their efforts, their commitment to Indiana and our women's basketball team and coming out.  There's a lot of family, but there's also some fans that just love Indiana women's basketball.

Q.  At the beginning of the second half, it took you guys a while to get going offensively but you got three or four stops in a row.  Talk about the defense's performance?
COACH MOREN:  I thought the defense's performance, we had to.  And I can't remember the stretch completely, but they helped us.  They turned it over a few times.  We really thought we were getting good shots.  They just weren't going down.
And we needed that to happen.  But as we move forward with our program, this program's going to be ‑‑ the cornerstone is going to be defense and rebounding the ball.  And it's good that we can go back and kind of refer back to, hey we were getting good shots, it didn't fall but this is what you did to keep your lead.
You defended the way we talked about.  You stuck with the game plan.  And so that will go a long way with this group.  We're still a work in progress trying to get them to understand that there's going to be nights that our shots don't fall, we've got to be able to hang our hat on something and that's the defensive end.

Q.  You guys played Rutgers less than a week ago.  How do you try and carry this success over to face Rutgers again?
COACH MOREN:  That's the nice thing about just playing them; that our prep, what they'll remember, our players should still be pretty fresh, fairly fresh in what we know that one of the things we didn't do a tremendous job of and we didn't do a great job tonight was rebounding the ball.
They're clearly more athletic than we are.  They're bigger than we are.  And so we have to go in with the same focus.  We got a lead there in the first half and just couldn't keep it because we turned it over 18 times.  So I can tell you this, the discussion going into our game plan first and foremost will be valuing the ball, taking care of it, and that's one of the things, when you look at the stats, they didn't overwhelm us in any category other than the fact we just turned it over.

Q.  Jess wasn't up here but she had 15 points, all 3‑pointers she's become a big part of the offense.  Can you talk about how much she's improved?
COACH MOREN:  Her improvement, the experience she's gotten obviously is going to be big for us, down the stretch.
I think Karlee has given us great minutes.  She had 18 against Maryland.  Tonight she didn't shoot it great but you can never count Karlee out because she's such a great shooter.  But Jess had a bank there with the shot clock running down.  I think she had another one in the first half, shot clock running down.  This is a kid that spends time in the gym.
She spends time after practice, before practice, very committed to being a really good Big Ten player, and as you mentioned it, we need her to continue to shoot the ball well for us, because of our lack of size.  We gotta be able to stretch out the defense as well as we can.  But part of that is being able to knock down open shots.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

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